Geek of the Week: Round 1 Recap

Scott Royce

2022-05-15

Let me just start off by saying playoff hockey is freaking awesome. This season's playoffs hit the ground running with five of the eight first round matchups going the distance to seven games. While we still have two series to be decided today before moving onto the next round, I figured I could go over the series that have wrapped up so far. My first impression though which can be applicable to most series, is that things are tight in the postseason. I figured we would see a few five-game series and some six-game series, with maybe a couple series that would go the distance. It's great to see so many matchups going down to the wire!

Colorado vs Nashville

Of all the series in the opening round, this was the one outlier. The top-seeded Avalanche looked strong from start to finish in this series. They managed to crack out the brooms and sweep away a Nashville Predator team that had a hell of a season all things considered. To me, Nashville was one of the great stories of the regular season. A lot of veterans on that team had great bounce-back seasons, and some of their young guys showed a ton of promise as well. 

It was cool to see Matt Duchene match up against his old club again. It would have been a huge storyline if he could knock off his old club, but the Avs look poised to go on a deep run this year. Gabriel Landeskog is back from a long injury stint and is looking great. The Colorado defensive corps continues to provide a ton of supplemental offense. The Avs took care of business and as a result have earned a ton of bonus rest days while they wait for the next round to start. Hopefully for their sake the extra rest doesn't kill their thunderous momentum they had built up to this point.

Minnesota vs St. Louis

This was one of the matchups I was most anxious to watch. I remember a couple weekends before the end of the regular season, I was watching a Wild/Blues game because it had some major fantasy implications for me. It was an intense back-and-forth game and it got really chippy towards the end too. When the season ended and I saw that these two would face off, I was very excited.

In our DobberHockey Expert Prediction Panel, I made a very bold prediction and picked the Minnesota WIld as a dark horse to win the Cup. Part of this is just because I hate going with the easy, consensus picks. But admittedly, I was also very high on the Wild and the regular season they just had. Kirill Kaprizov has bloomed into a megastar this season. Other secondary scorers have emerged to finally give the Wild some real firepower offensively. I figured this would be one of the series that would go the distance, and for a while during this series, it looked like it would go that way.

However, the veteran savvy of the Blues proved to be too much the Wild to handle this time around. The series was entertaining and both sides had some highs and lows, but the Blue came out ahead in six games. The Blues have really become a battle-tested bunch after going on their Cup run a couple years back. David Perron really stepped up in this series, posting nine points, including a hat trick in game one of the series. It should be interesting to see if the Blues can use their past success going forward. They have a matchup with the Avs in round two. Colorado will be heavy favorites in this series, but don't count St. Louis out completely!

Edmonton vs Los Angeles

This is a series that ended up being much closer than I thought it would be. I had underra